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Solar PV

Solar on a Strata - Three Months In

System Running, Exceeding Expectations

Note: This is one more entry in the 'Solar on a Strata' blog series

Our system was installed and turned on in test mode on June 11, 2015, and has beeen producing power since. 

Reliability

As far as I can tell, the system has run without any interruptions except for a couple of hours when the electricians were on the roof installing the permanent fasteners. In the words any engineer likes to hear - 'It Just Works'. 

BCSEA Kamloops Speaks Up On Trans Mountain Pipeline

Why would another pipeline be needed when we’re in the beginning stages of a global transition to renewable energy?  That’s what the Kamloops Chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA Kamloops) has said in its letter to the National Energy Board (NEB).  We invite you to read the attached letter with its two appendices, below.

Sun smiles on prospects as Kimberley solar farm starts up

July 29, 2015
Vancouver Sun
Project is a joint venture that includes the city, landowner Teck and renewable energy non-profit

VANCOUVER — The builders of British Columbia’s first grid-scale solar
power plant in Kimberley named the project SunMine owing in part to its
location on a former mine site. But the operation is also finding more sun
to mine, exceeding initial expectations for electricity production.

Victoria condo powers up with strata-initiated solar project

June 13, 2015
TImes Colonist

A new solar panel system is covering the roof of a 64-unit Pembroke Street condominium building to help owners save on energy costs.

The installation on the Central Park condo appears to be a ground-breaking move for a Vancouver Island strata council.

In recent years, councils have been asking about the feasibility of installing solar electric panels, said Sandy Wagner, president of the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association.

“This is the first one that I know of,” Wagner said. “That’s fabulous for them.”

Solar on a Strata - Join Us ?

Electrician connecting the solar panels
What you can learn from our solar panel project

Note: This is one more chapter in the blog series Solar on a Strata?

There are dozens of older residential buildings in Victoria with flat, unshaded roofs just as suitable for solar panels as Central Park Strata. If you own a condominium unit in one of these, or the whole rental building - you could do it too.

Solar on a Strata - Installation

Solar Inverter
Panels are in place and being wired up

Note: this is just one chapter in Solar on a Strata?

The solar panels were lifted onto the roof by crane on May 28, and the mounting brackets, ballast, wires, wind deflectors, etc. lifted up through our roof hatch since then.

Connections and wiring are mostly done, and testing is underway as I write this, with one reading of 11,129 watts under bright sunshine at 1:30 PM June 11. It's wonderful to actually see it in place and running after these months of discussion, design and planning.

Your Answers to The Big Questions

Last week, we posed thirteen ‘Big Questions’ relating to the future of sustainable energy in Canada and the world. And boy, did you respond!

The BIG Questions: What Are Your Thoughts?

What are we thinking? When it comes to climate action and sustainable energy there are some tricky questions to which there are not yet any clear answers. So we thought we'd poll your thoughts to see how we are thinking collectively as a community. 

The questions are below: to answer them please go to the survey.

Next week, we will report back on your responses.

Solar on a Strata - Engineering Approval

PV1-2012: Structural Seismic Requirements and Commentary for Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Arrays
Engineers Approve the Design

Note: this is just one chapter in Solar on a Strata?

Before anyone installs equipment on the roof of our existing building, we have to know that it will be safe.

Electrical

Of course, the wiring must be safe, but that is ensured by the Electrical Code, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) testing of the components,
the training and experience of our licensed electrician, and the local electrical inspector.

Look what’s cooking in the world of renewable energy

Solar tech

April 6, 2015
Ensia

Inside a sprawling single-story office building in Bedford, Mass., in a secret room known as the Growth Hall, the future of solar power is cooking at more than 2,500 °F. Behind closed doors and downturned blinds, custom-built ovens with ambitious names like “Fearless” and “Intrepid” are helping to perfect a new technique of making silicon wafers, the workhorse of today’s solar panels. If all goes well, the new method could cut the cost of solar power by more than 20 percent in the next few years.